What do you think of the BMI chart and the body weights it recommends? Do you find BMI a reasonable approximation of a good weight for your height?
I used to think it was hogwash because I have broad shoulders and a big frame, but after doing Paleo for 3 months and losing a ton of weight, I have only 10 lbs to go before I'm at a good weight according to the BMI chart. So maybe I thought it was hogwash only because I was so far away from it!
Body Mass Index is a good indication of "general" health for large numbers of people. If we were to look at 100 people who had a BMI of over 30 (the threshold for obesity), the majority of them would actually have a high percentage of body fat. A few (1-3) of them may be people who have higher bone mineral density, lean mass, and very low body fat percentage (for example, a professional body buider).
BMI generally should only be referred to when discussing groups. I NEVER do BMI on clients. It is much more accurate to do skinfolds or under water weighing (which will give you the percentage of lean mass vs. the percentage of fat mass of your body). Many gyms have the ability to at least do skinfolds for you, and much of the time it is free. You can also visit a University (if there is one close to you) Exercise Science department and have Body Composition testing for very low cost or free.
I am over weight according to the last nurse who took mine in a county wide health pole. She never looked at me until I asked her, "So you have any laundry to wash?" She looked up and said "huh?" and I repeated and showed her my abs. She blushed, smiled and said never mind.
Alone it is crap, used with body fat % it gives another useless number you can claim.
I did use the BMI chart to decide on my goal weight. Mostly because the BMI chart was a huge part of why I lost weight (the first time). I can still remember how absolutely APPALLED I was the first time I was called obese. It was at a work health screen and I was mortified. Sure, I was chubby or thick but I wasn't OBESE that was for really FAT people.
Well, I was obese and unhealthy. I'm glad it made me think.
I don't think the BMI chart is right 100% of the time, but I do think it's a good general guide.
I can tell you I was pretty damn happy the first day I weighed in a "NORMAL".
It is complete garbage. I am 6'2" and weigh 228 pounds. According to that I am obese and I have a 34" waist (not jamming myself into that waist size either-no muffin tops here! lol) and a wear a size 46 jacket. At the end of the day you know whether you are overweight or not. BMI is just something i would use as a very generalized guide because there is no such thing as a "normal" shaped person. By the way, never let anyone hand you one of those electronic BMI calculators that you grab the two handles and hold it for 20 seconds. They are worse than that chart you are referring to. You have to find someone with the calipers to get an accurate body fat percentage. This is not just my opinion but that of my personal trainer and a healthcare professional I am close to.
Last time I went to the Dr, they made me step on the scale that also took body fat %. I was fully dressed with coat and sneakers on. How in the world can that be accurate? When I asked -- "yes it is accurate" really??
I do use it to set goals for myself, though. I'd like to get up to a BMI of 19-20 or so just for vanity. I've been 'underweight' since I was 3, I'm pretty sure I'm destined to always be on the slimmer side of weight to height. I have a narrow frame with small bones, like my father and sisters.
Eat well, and the mirror is the best guide... I really want to look healthy, not frail.